McDonald, Jon

Cultural / Performing Arts – Class of 1965

McDonald003Jon McDonald is a professor, program chair of illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design. For twenty-nine years, he has taught courses in illustration, painting, and rendering.

In 1969, Jon received an Illustrator’s Certificate from Kendall College and in 1972, a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.

A nationally exhibited artist who specializes in watercolors and oils, Jon has had several one-man exhibits and his work has been showcased by many museums.

His artwork depicts such themes as the extinction of the American Indian, slavery, and blues and jazz music. His mural work can be viewed locally in the GHHS Field House and at the Muskegon Airport.

Jon is a member of West Michigan 8, a group of eight well respected artists who have each made West Michigan their home. Together, they have over 400 years of painting experience. Other members of the group include Carl Forslund, Larry Blovitz, Jack Brouwer, Collin Fry, and Chris Stoffel Overvoorde.


Poel, Dr. Larry

Honorary Achievement for Contributions to GHAPS

Poel007Larry Poel has been the Grand Haven High School team physician for over 35 years. He graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in pharmacy and then attended Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Larry completed his internship at Metropolitan Hospital in Grand Rapids.

He opened the West Michigan Sports & Rehab Clinic in 1983 and directs its operations.

Larry has devoted countless hours of his own time to thousands of athletes and coaches. He can be spotted on the sidelines or in the gym giving special attention to any athlete in need. He demonstrates an exceptional level of expertise, commitment, and passion toward sports medicine. His presence is felt and appreciated by all.

In 2001, he received an Honorary Member Award from the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. In 2004, he was inducted into the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame. Larry received the GHAPS Excellence in Education Award in 2005 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.

Rycenga, Charles Jr.

Service to GHAPS / Society – Class of 1939

Rycenga001At GHHS, Charles Rycenga, Jr. played Buccaneer football as a fullback and captained the basketball team his senior year. In 1942, he enlisted in the Navy and served in the South Pacific until 1945.

He attended Grand Rapids Junior College and obtained his Associate Degree in Business from Davenport College. In 1947, Chuck joined his brother, Louis at Rycenga and Sons, a wood and sawmill business their father had started in 1931. The business thrived after WW II, building garages, cottages and eventually, pre-fabricated homes. They developed many local subdivisions including North and South Holiday Hills, Swiss Village, and Dermshire Forest.

Chuck has always been dedicated to community activities and community goals. His work reflects his spirit. Chuck has served our community on numerous boards and commissions including the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, Grand Haven Rotary, Grand Haven Planning Commissions and the Salvation Army. He was the President, Founder and Chairman of International Aid. He helped teach GHHS students how to build homes from the ground up and committed to donating one house a year for the program.

Chuck and his wife Non have two daughters, one son, 15 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Chuck and Non’s philanthropic deeds to the community are legendary. Chuck has been a guiding force for Habitat for Humanity, has made it possible for scores of high school students to go on to college, and, through a 40 acre donation of land in Spring Lake Township, has  allowed the Rycenga Recreational Park to become a reality.

Secory, Frank

Athletic Achievement – Class of 1929

Secory001Frank Secory is being honored posthumously. He was a GHHS athletic standout who then attended Western State Teachers College where he starred in baseball and football while earning a Bachelor of Science degree.

Frank became an American left fielder and umpire in major league baseball. He played for eleven years with the Detroit, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Chicago Cubs organizations, playing for the Cubs in the 1945 World Series. Mainly an outfielder, he stood six-feet one and weighed two hundred pounds. Frank played his first major league ball game on April 28, 1940 at the age of 27 and went on to play 186 games until 1946.

Frank was an umpire in baseball’s National League from 1952-1970. During his nineteen years of officiating, he umpired four World Series and six All-Star games. He umpired in nine official no-hitters, setting a National League record and earned the Baseball Writers Association of America “Umpire of the Year” award before retiring in 1970.

Frank was also inducted into the Western Michigan University Hall of Fame for football and baseball in 1976 and into the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

Shelton, Michelle (Bishop)

Athletic Achievement – Class of 1988

Michele-Shelton-HeadShotMichele Bishop Shelton was a star sprint athlete for GHHS. In 1986, she was state champion in the 100 (12:05)and 200 (25:22) meter dash and was named honorable mention, National High School Track All-American for her season’s accomplishments. She was accepted to an Olympic junior training camp in Colorado Springs. Michele would go to the state track finals all three of her GHHS years. She went on to run competitively at the University of Michigan, where she also earned a teaching degree in elementary education.

Michele had taught on the east side of the state before she was hired to teach at Grand Haven Junior High and become an assistant track coach. She taught second grade and eighth grade history before her current position as a fifth grade teacher at Griffin Elementary.

In 2002, Michele was selected for an Excellence in Service Award, partly due to her level of involvement while serving on curriculum improvement committees, but mainly for her performance in the classroom and impact on her students.

Sherwood, Lynne

Career / Academic – Class of 1959

Sherwood001Lynne Sherwood was the GHHS Class of ‘59 Valedictorian who went on to Stanford University where she earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in economics. In 1963, she was one of eight of the first women admitted to the MBA program at Harvard Business School. All eight graduates were featured on the cover of the July 4, 1994 issue of Forbes magazine. Lynne graduated in 1964 with an MBA in finance.

Joining Goldman, Sachs Co. of New York in 1965, Lynne served as securities analyst, vice-president and associate director of research and consultant on special projects. She was the first woman MBA to be hired by the company.

In 1981, Lynne joined the JSJ Corporation Board of Directors. She returned to Grand Haven in 1997 to take an active role in the management of JSJ Corporation. She served as the Corporate Secretary from 1997-2005 when she was elected Chairman.

Her background in finance and engaging, hands-on approach is a true asset to the many boards and organizations she serves, allowing them to fulfill their mission more effectively. She is chairman and trustee of the JSJ Foundation, and trustee of Michigan Colleges Foundation, Alma College, and Grand Haven Area Community Foundation where she served as chairman from 2003-2005.  She is also treasurer of the Grand Haven Rotary STRIVE program and a member of the board of directors of the Spring Lake District Library where she served as president and currently serves as treasurer.

Lynne has been the recipient of many awards including, in 2003, United Way’s G. W. Haworth Strength of Community Award to recognize her leadership, spirit of volunteering, philanthropy, and community decision making and Counterpart’s Woman of the Year in 2006.

Van Bemmelen, Col. Troy

Service to GHAPS / Society – Class of 1983

Vanbemmelen-04Col. Troy Van Bemmelen earned his degree in Design Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech University. He enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. After attending Undergraduate Pilot Training, he was selected to fly bombers and was assigned to Minot AFB, ND flying B-52’s.

As a top notch pilot, he was hand- picked to be part of the B-2 Stealth Bomber Team at Whiteman AFB, MO in 1996. His missions included flying in the NATO air operations in Kosovo in 1999 and again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Troy has been selected to command the Fifth Operations Group, Minot AFB, ND where he will be in charge of flying operations for the B-52 aircraft.

Troy is a nationally ranked racquetball player and will compete in the 2010 U.S. Open National Racquetball competition. Col Van Bemmelen has recently relocated to Minot, ND with his family.